Mark 10 Nine

Are you happily married and looking for tips on maintaining a God-honoring marriage? This weekly devotional will give you encouragement for your marriage.

Will You Take a Small Step Towards Healing in Your Marriage?

‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24 

Days after my stroke, it was time for a new chapter. We made our way through the hospital and down to the second-floor Rehabilitation Unit. A cheerful nurse greeted us with, “Hi! Welcome to Rehab.” I thought, surely, she must be the only one there who was happy.

Even before they had me in bed, I had learned lesson one about rehabilitation therapy. I commented on my “bad” leg, and the new nurse asked, “What has that leg ever done to you that you call bad? Here, we would call it your weaker leg.”

“What has that leg ever done to me? It won’t move.”

“That’s because it is sick, but we will take care of that soon.”

Do you consider your spouse to be “bad?” We call them the weaker part of your covenant relationship. Much like my “sick” limbs, the one you love may be sick with a sin problem, but the Great Physician will soon take care of that if you will follow Him in His rehabilitation program for your marriage.

I attended therapy sessions four or five hours a day. Physical therapists worked on my leg, with me lying on a low table. Occupational therapists did the same for my “weak” arm. A speech therapist worked with my memory and garbled speech. There were also nursing routines and visits from the Christian psychologist. A highlight of each day was the evening shower. The Rehab staff would put me in a wheelchair designed for the shower and roll me into a specially designed shower. After a week of hospital bed baths, that first shower was wonderful.

Have you been taking only spiritual bed baths during your marriage crisis? Our Lord God has a cleansing shower of His blessings waiting for you. The staff used to tell me, “Let us know when you want your shower.” Is God asking if you are ready for him to shower His love on your life?

I did not know how much my memory had been affected until they began my testing in Rehab. One test involved seeing how many words I could name in one minute that began with a letter the therapist would call out.

Another test involved the therapist teaching me three words. We would move on to other tests, and she would later ask me to recall those three words. They were rose, sweater, and hamburger. That particular therapist had never seen it before, and I don’t understand how it works, but my mind was compensating for my short-term memory loss by placing thoughts in my long-term memory. That was indeed a blessing from God.

Where in your mind are you storing away God’s Word and all He is teaching you today? Is it in short-term memory, to be forgotten as soon as you face a crisis, or is it in long term, where much like my rose, sweater, or hamburger, it can always be recalled? I will never need my three words again, but God’s Word you and I need often.

After five days of Rehab, we were seeing no results. On Saturday morning, an upbeat Physical Therapist and assistant entered my room. I knew from the belts that he carried that we were going somewhere. “Let’s get you up, Bob,” he announced. “We’re taking you down to the gym. It’s time to go shopping.”

The hospital’s Physical Therapy Gym was located on the second floor. The sunshine of a bright Florida spring day streamed in the huge windows. The beauty only reminded me of what I would be missing for the rest of my life. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t use my arm or hand. I couldn’t talk clearly. My memory was damaged.

Randy rolled my wheelchair over to the most helpful physical therapy device that I have ever used; an old grocery cart. “We’ll need to teach you how to use a grocery cart, because it looks like you enjoy eating,” he teased. My balance had been affected and I had a great fear of falling. Randy’s confident manner somehow reassured me that I would be safe, even though he was about a foot shorter than me.

With one therapist holding the front of the cart, two others helped lift me from the wheelchair. Randy took his place on a rolling stool behind me. They placed my dangling left hand up on the bar of that basket. With therapists and assistants on all four sides of me, Randy commanded, “All right, big boy, it’s time to walk!”

I cannot tell you how it was accomplished, but Randy would hold my limp leg rigid. I would take a step with my strong leg; Randy would shuffle the weak leg a couple inches, and the process would be repeated. I had my own four-member cheering squad with each step that I took. I was so excited that my left hand would fall unnoticed from the bar of the cart. One of the four would silently reposition it for me.

I have no idea how long we “shopped,” but after I went back into the wheelchair, Randy measured the distance and proudly announced that I had walked 83 feet! After he had me back in bed, he added a huge 83 FT to my board.

What distance does the Lord record that you have walked for Him? Randy did not expect me to get up and run a marathon. Neither does God expect you to start off running. He only wants you to be obedient, to get out of that wheelchair, and to be obedient to Him as you learn to walk His way.

I was confident on that Saturday that Randy would not let me fall. I pray that you are confident today that God will not let you fall, regardless of how small your shuffling steps, or how many times your hand falls off that bar called obedience.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

God bless,



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This teaching is Charlyne’s introduction to “How To Stand & Fight For Your Marriage!” Charlyne’s goal is to teach you, a stander, or someone you know with marriage problems, the path to marriage restoration that she has learned over the past twenty-five years.